The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 151

to besieging Louisburg, and return'd to New York, with all
his troops, together with the two paquets above mentioned, and all
their passengers! During his absence the French and savages had taken
Fort George, on the frontier of that province, and the savages had
massacred many of the garrison after capitulation.

I saw afterwards in London Captain Bonnell, who commanded one of those
paquets. He told me that, when he had been detain'd a month, he
acquainted his lordship that his ship was grown foul, to a degree that
must necessarily hinder her fast sailing, a point of consequence for a
paquet-boat, and requested an allowance of time to heave her down and
clean her bottom. He was asked how long time that would require. He
answer'd, three days. The general replied, "If you can do it in one
day, I give leave; otherwise not; for you must certainly sail the day
after to-morrow." So he never obtain'd leave, though detained
afterwards from day to day during full three months.

I saw also in London one of Bonnell's passengers, who was so enrag'd
against his lordship for deceiving and detaining him so long at New
York, and then carrying him to Halifax and back again, that he swore he
would sue for damages. Whether he did or not, I never heard; but, as
he represented the injury to his affairs, it was very considerable.

On the whole, I wonder'd much how such a man came to be intrusted with
so important a business as the conduct of a great army; but, having
since seen more of the great world, and the means of obtaining, and
motives for giving places, my wonder is diminished. General Shirley,
on whom the command of the army devolved upon the death of Braddock,
would, in my opinion, if continued in place, have made a much better
campaign than that of Loudoun in 1757, which was frivolous, expensive,
and disgraceful to our nation beyond conception; for, tho' Shirley was
not a bred soldier, he was sensible and sagacious in himself, and
attentive to good advice from others, capable of forming judicious
plans, and quick and active in carrying them into execution. Loudoun,
instead of defending the colonies with his great army, left them
totally expos'd while he paraded idly at Halifax, by which means Fort
George was lost, besides, he derang'd all our mercantile operations,
and distress'd our trade, by a long embargo on the exportation of
provisions, on pretence of keeping supplies from being obtain'd by the
enemy, but in reality for beating

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Text Comparison with Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin; Written by Himself. [Vol. 2 of 2] With his Most Interesting Essays, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings; Familiar, Moral, Political, Economical, and Philosophical, Selected with Care from All His Published Productions, and Comprising Whatever Is Most Entertaining and Valuable to the General Reader

Page 34
It is recorded of Methusalem, who, being the longest liver, may be supposed to have best preserved his health, that he slept always in the open air; for, when he had lived five hundred years, an angel said to him, "Arise, Methusalem, and build thee a house, for thou shalt live yet five hundred years longer.
Page 42
_ If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts and ends his days in prison, _Alas!_ say I, _he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.
Page 50
Now, therefore, embrace these rules and be happy.
Page 63
Yet this evil is not so great as it may appear at first sight.
Page 100
Above all things, I dislike family quarrels; and when they happen among my relations, nothing gives me more pain.
Page 102
If you are disposed to favour me, you will also consider how much one's mind is taken up and distracted by the many little affairs one has to settle, before the undertaking such a voyage, after so long a residence in a country; and how little, in such a situation, one's mind is fitted for serious and attentive reading, which, with regard to the _Elements of Criticism_, I intended before I should write.
Page 105
"Indeed, the act of Parliament in question has not, as in other acts, when a duty is enjoined, directed a penalty on neglect or refusal, and a mode of recovering that penalty.
Page 106
On receiving this leave and those charters, the adventurers voluntarily engaged to remain the king's subjects, though in a foreign country; a country which had not been conquered by either king or parliament, but was possessed by a free people.
Page 112
Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned.
Page 128
But think for a moment in what light it must be viewed in America.
Page 133
He died at Paris, May 13, 1784.
Page 141
_ "Passy, July 10, 1782.
Page 171
So that, the longer I live, I must expect to be the more wretched.
Page 188
Besides, that those parts of the earth which abound with strata of stone or marble, making the strongest opposition to this effort, are the most furiously shattered, and suffer much more by it than those which consist of gravel, sand, and the like laxer matter, which more easily give way, and make not so great resistance.
Page 195
This matter of lightning or of electricity is an.
Page 204
[38] In Pennsylvania.
Page 207
But if.
Page 208
I send you, herewith, a letter from an ingenious physician of my acquaintance, which gives one instance of this, that fell within his observation.
Page 215
At present I am not furnished with facts sufficient to make any pertinent answer to them, and this paper has already a sufficient quantity of conjecture.
Page 220
a China or stone teapot, being in some degree of the nature of glass, which is not a good conductor of heat, may have a handle of the same stuff.